Airline mergers are helping to bring stability to the aviation industry, experts say. "If you look at the U.S. industry versus the rest of the world seven years ago, it literally has done a total flip in that the U.S. region is now the most profitable in the world," said John Thomas, an aviation specialist at L.E.K. Consulting. The profits have enabled airlines to invest in new aircraft, baggage systems and airport lounges.

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